Latest reviews of new albums:
Open Season: Scared Silly
  • Composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams and Dominic Lewis
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2016 / 32m

The third direct-to-video sequel to the 2006 animation Open Season, Scared Silly picks up the adventures of Boog the bear and his friend Elliot, a one-antlered moose.  Given the original film wasn’t particularly successful, the series’ longevity seems somewhat improbable, but I guess it must be doing well to justify all these sequels.  The first two films in the series were scored by Ramin Djawadi and the third by Jeff Cardoni, and none of those scores got a soundtrack release (the first one did get an album, but it was just songs) – so another improbable thing is that the fourth one should.  Still, it’s entertaining music, penned this time by Rupert Gregson-Williams and Dominic Lewis, very much following the template for Remote Control scores for animated comedies, which on the one hand is no bad thing since they’re such good fun but on the other, I suppose there is a saturation point (given how similar they are, how many of these albums does one person really need?)

I’m a little surprised (third time already in a very brief review!) that there was the budget for an orchestra, but there was and the composers put it through its paces with some great mad-cap action and adventure music.  It’s got a rollicking energy to it, sounding in particular like John Powell’s scores for his most light-hearted animated projects, alongside a couple of more tender dramatic moments which sound admirably sincere (the gentle “Trouble in Paradise” is really well done).  There’s even a bit of pastiche opera and a guitar-twanging hoedown.  The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style is actually done very well and the brief album doesn’t allow it to become tiresome.  It’s one of those scores that doesn’t offer anything particularly original, but it’s very slick and professional and above all enjoyable.

Rating: *** | |

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  1. Lu-Hiep Phan (Reply) on Tuesday 7 June, 2016 at 16:50

    It’s a typically good score with very competent orchestral writing that harkens back to the days of Chicken Run. Is it forgettable? Sadly, just a bit.